Sunday, December 03, 2006

World’s most coveted gatherings

In an excellent compilation of the world’s most happening events, Amrita Thapar has thrown light on the world’s most coveted gatherings. Read the full details here.

We note down only the those conferences and points which are really important to us from the point of view of general interest and ignore the trivia.

  1. The Sun Valley Conference is an annual conference hosted and funded by New York investment firm Allen & Company. It is a week-long conference is held in Sun Valley, Idaho every July, since its inception in 1983. Sun Valley is an invitation only conference — and the best way to get invited is to be a company president, chairman or CEO at a multinational media concern, looking for lots of expensive deals preferably.
  2. The Bilderberg Conference is held annually in late spring or early summer, and is named after the hotel in The Netherlands where the first conference took place in 1954. This too is an invitation only conference of around 130 guests — people of influence from the world of business, academia, media and politics. The Bilderberg Conference has been much criticized, since it has never been open to the public. When the world’s most powerful gather behind closed doors, there is always immense speculation on what is actually being discussed. The Conference usually takes place at an undisclosed location, mostly exclusive resorts in Europe or North America. Big bucks properly refined can allegedly help get you in. The 2007 Bilderberg Conference is slated to be held in Istanbul, Turkey.
  3. The World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland held late in January is widely known in India. The conference here was inaugurated in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German-born business professor and consummate networker, as an intimate gathering where business leaders could debate over world problems, amidst some of the Alps' finest ski slopes. To be invited to Davos, it helps to be a CEO or a media mogul; otherwise, have your people call CII, and if you have an interesting C.V., you can probably make it onto the final list.
  4. The Forstmann Little Conference, held annually every September in Aspen, Colorado, a town with a skiing reputation, is another symposium where discussions are “off the record”. It was initiated by Theodore Forstmann, philanthropist, long-time Republican Party contributor and a partner of private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co. To ensure that you get invited it would help to be the CEO of a huge and successful company, be the best at something significant or own a Gulfstream jet, one of Forstmann’s holdings. Those attending could as easily be somewhere else but they supposedly come because at the end of it all, they have a good time.
  5. The Renaissance Weekend, originally held at New Year’s, now has Thanksgiving, Presidents’ Day, Labor Day and spring weekends as well. Started by former US diplomat Phil Lader and his wife Linda, who were bored by the thought of a quiet new years’ eve, this gathering sees about 60 eminent people get together to discuss the big issues of the day. The New Year’s weekend is always held at Hilton Head, South Carolina. To be invited it would help to be a leader, a celebrity or a friend of Phil Lader’s, or to know someone they know.